The Antikaroshi - Crushed Neocons
Exile on Mainstream Records
Post Rock/Hardcore
9 songs (1:13:45)
Release year: 2009
Exile on Mainstream Records
Reviewed by Goat

As you might have guessed from the title, The Antikaroshi really didn’t appreciate the eight years of the Bush dominion. Hailing from Potsdown, Germany, the three-piece here present their debut album, an album that has taken me quite a few listens to get to grips with. In fact, I nearly wrote a negative review, complaining about how a record label of solid quality in the Experimental Rock world like Exile On Mainstream could release something as downright offensive, but I listened a bit more, and discovered that in many ways The Antikaroshi are a great band. Taking the traditional Noise Rock power trio, the band add a variety of little influences to the mix, from Jazz to Electronica, but never being obvious about it.

In many ways this is a collection of jams rather than songs. All groove a hypnotic path through Post-Rock territory without being at all afraid to rock out a little. Some are more psychedelic than others – Cruiserwait starts out like Space Rock before turning into a varied Post-Hardcore anthem. It’s hard to pin Crushed Neocons down at all, since each track takes a different style on, and by the time you’ve reached album finale Prsndcns, a twenty-three minute remix, chances are that you’re either completely drained and ready to switch it off, or that you’ve not been listening properly. And truthfully in some ways this album does work better if you’re not paying full attention, but instead have it as background music, recognising only the changing textures and atmospheres. It is hard to get into moments like the quirky and seemingly repetitive Baskerville, even with its shift towards the end into what appears to be a strange mixture of Indie and Queens Of The Stone Age. Another reason the band lost points are the vocals; typical shouty-singing post-punk fare. Granted, they’re used infrequently but can get just a bit annoying when you’d rather hear talented musicianship…

The trick is to keep listening. Fine, every so often the band does make a dreadful step into Indie Rock territory, but a moment later you get a wonderful song like Thin Line, a Proggy little eight-minuter that goes through more time changes than most bands do in an album and dips into beautiful ambience towards the end. The majority of the songs are as good, to be fair, opener Downtown slipping and sliding all over the place, even touching upon Meshuggah near the end as the riffs turn polyrhymic. Fistful openly and without shame touches on the Jazzy, especially with the excellent drumming, and the track rocks a little more than most on the album.

Ultimately, Crushed Neocons won’t appeal to everybody, but it is a confident debut from this young band, and one that fans of Experimental Rock everywhere should listen to. It isn’t quite as original and amazing as The Antikaroshi would like you to think, but it’s certainly a reason to keep an eye out for them, on tour this summer with the fascinating Enablers.

Killing Songs :
Downtown, Fistful, Pes, Cruiserwait, Thin Line
Goat quoted 75 / 100
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